Best of Phoenix

A Fiesta Bowl Visitors' Guide: Best Dining, Drinking, Partying in the PHX

Your dining guide for Fiesta Bowl.
Your dining guide for Fiesta Bowl. Jacob Tyler Dunn
First, let us apologize to our visitors or the weather we're having leading up to this week's Playstation Fiesta Bowl football game between the University of Central Florida and Louisiana State University. You're going to get lows in the mid-30s leading up to Tuesday's game and highs not much above 50 degrees. That's freezing for us and probably won't make you guests too happy since it's going to be in the 80s in Orlando and the 60s in Baton Rouge.

But otherwise, we hope you will find the Phoenix area hospitable, and to help with that we're providing several lists of our best places to eat, drink, and party while you're in town. For you LSU fans, we've even got a list of the best places to find good Cajun and Creole food. We can assure you that the refreshments will be much better than the temperatures. Just click on the headlines for the full lists.

Metro Phoenix's Best Restaurants
The Phoenix area is fast becoming a foodie's paradise. There are so many choices, we figured you'd need a little help deciding where to spend your valuable dining dollars. Read on to find out where's the best steak, the best patio dining, the best Italian food, the best place to take kids, the best seafood, the best food truck and even the best restaurant restroom. We guarantee by the time you get to the end of this list you'll be hungry, so make those reservations as quickly as possible. These places fill up fast.

Korean eats at Drunken Tiger. - JACKIE MERCANDETTI
Korean eats at Drunken Tiger.
Jackie Mercandetti
Our Best Ethnic Restaurants
You can take a gastronomical trip around the world without ever leaving the Phoenix area, from England to China, Italy to Vietnam, and France to the Middle East, and of course to all parts of Mexico, we are blessed with an abundance of ethnic restaurants in the Valley. Here are our favorites.

Aioli Gourmet Burgers - JORDYN CARIAS
Aioli Gourmet Burgers
Jordyn Carias
Our Best Specialty Dishes
Want to know where to find the best pizza in the Valley? Who makes the best horchatas? The best burger or the best grilled cheese? We don't have any problem with telling you where to go to find any of them. Here are the best specialty dishes in metro Phoenix.

The Hazz, Lorenza, and carne asada tacos at Ta'Carbon in Phoenix. - PATRICIA ESCARCEGA
The Hazz, Lorenza, and carne asada tacos at Ta'Carbon in Phoenix.
Patricia Escarcega
Our Best Mexican Dishes
East side, west side, and smack dab in the middle: Everywhere you turn in the Phoenix area there are great Mexican dishes. From burros and birria to tacos and tamales, we've put together our choices of where to find the 32 best Mexican dishes in the Valley. Call it a treasure map.

Phoenix parties hard on New Year's Eve. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
Phoenix parties hard on New Year's Eve.
Benjamin Leatherman
The 30 Best Places to Party on New Year's Eve
Only one team can win the game, but fans from both sides can party hours before the New Year's Day kickoff.  Here are some of our best NYE celebrations.  Bring your own party hats.

Arizona Distilling Co. - ROBERT ISENBERG
Arizona Distilling Co.
Robert Isenberg
Our Favorite Beers, Bars, and Booze
Here are our choices of where to find the best bartender, the best tequila, the best whiskey, the best wines, the best cocktails, the best selection of beers, and even the best sake (hint, it's made here, not in Japan). However, if you take our recommendations a little too seriously, you may also want to check out this list of the best dishes to help you deal with that hangover.

click to enlarge This is the cup of Filé Okra Gumbo at Creole Cajun Bistro. - LAUREN CUSIMANO
This is the cup of Filé Okra Gumbo at Creole Cajun Bistro.
Lauren Cusimano

10 Places to Find Great Cajun and Creole Food in Metro Phoenix
The Phoenix area  may seem like the opposite of southern Louisiana, and in many ways, it is, but there are still a number of places that can transport you right back to the French Quarter’s sidewalk cafes, bustling restaurants, and walk-up windows. Here are 10 places with Cajun-style dishes ready to introduce, or bring you back, to a unique world of taste.

click to enlarge An omelet made with house-smoked steelhead trout. - CHRIS MALLOY
An omelet made with house-smoked steelhead trout.
Chris Malloy
The Best of Food Critic Chris Malloy's Breakfast Beat

The Phoenix New Times food critic Chris Malloy spent almost a year sampling the best breakfast spots in metro Phoenix. These are his seven favorites.
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